Taliban should form inclusive government: French foreign minister

Jean-Yves Le Drian calls on group to prove it has changed if it wants respectability and honor

PARIS (AA) – France indicated Tuesday that it could remain open to recognizing a Taliban government, two days after the group seized control of Afghanistan and attempted to assure the international community of peace and stability.

Speaking to Radio France, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian stressed that the Taliban has to demonstrate it has changed by forming a “truly inclusive and representative” government.

He said the Taliban in its recent statements have said they want “respectability and honor.”

“The best proof of what they are saying would be to ensure that there is a transitional government, which shows that the Taliban want to respect the law, end the violence and make civilians feel safe and secure,” France Info, a sister organization of Radio France, quoted Le Drian in its report as saying.

Le Drian’s statement echoed the US State Department and the United Nations Security Council’s call to the Taliban to form a “united, inclusive and representative government” including representation of women.

The France Info report added that Le Drian was not closing the door to dialogue with the group and noted a change in the present generation of its leadership from the one that was in control of Afghanistan from 1996-2001.

The current generation “entered into negotiations, in particular with the United States,” he observed.

In another report, Mohammad Homayoon Azizi, Afghanistan’s ambassador to France, told France Info he expected France to do more, especially as it is a UN Security Council member. He added that the forceful seizure of power by the Taliban was disturbing and expressed uncertainty over the change in the nature of the fundamentalist group.​​​​​​​

“It cannot change in a positive way. I even fear the reverse, that the repression will be even harsher than between 1996 and 2001,” he said.


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